Attachment Parenting

21 May

How do you feel when you look at this picture? If you are like me, this is your reaction:

***shocked, slightly disgusted face ***.

If your child can stand on a stool and breastfeed, haven’t you crossed the line!?!

The reason why I react in this way is because this parenting style, called the attachment parenting method, is not in my western christian culture – although at times, it certainly felt like it was going towards it.

Flash back 8 years ago when I had my first child.

Although becoming a mother brought me immense joy, I vividly remember all the dos and donts that I struggled with. In christian circles, we sometimes make the mistake of taking a widely accepted principle in our culture, reacting against it, opposing it and making it a godliness issue, not truly reflecting on what the Bible says about it. I wrestled with breastfeeding, routine, spanking, staying-at-home, homeschooling… you name it! I was told that breastfeeding is godly, that a lack of routine will lead to ungodliness, that no spanking is disobeying God’s word,  that working (instead of being a stay-at-home mum) might show that I do not love my children the way I should and that homeschooling is the only christian way to educate my offsprings…

As I read about attachment parenting, I realised that my reaction towards it is no different that the people saying that homeschooling is a mark of better parenting – read godly. I pass judgement on that parenting method simply because it is different from what I’m used to do in my christian culture. Some aspects of the attachment parenting make me feel uncomfortable but are they are ungodly? I cringe in my chair at the sight of a 6 year old feeding from his mom’s breast as much as my own family cringes at me homeschooling my children (They’re getting used to the idea slowly). As long as those practicing attachment parenting do not imply that their way is the only way to raise psychologically healthy children, I say breast-feed-away!

As a christian though, I would want to be careful that my children do not become the ‘be all and end all’ of my life but the Bible has never blamed any parenting methods for turning our children into idols (Rats!!! It would have made parenting so much easier!). If I adhered to that method of parenting, I would want to be careful not to alienate my fellow christian mothers who won’t or can’t do the same, by making them feel that their choice is only second best. I would want to absolutely be certain that, whatever I advise, (not the Lord), does not add any unnecessary burdens on other mums.

The driving principle of motherhood should be love: Love for God – Not love for what I feel comfortable with according to my culture. After reading and digesting this article, I was challenged on the view I hold of people that do things differently. I was reminded that in Christ we are free.

Inside the box that God has defined, I am free to make my own decisions, whether they go against the trend of the day and the culture of the time.


6 Responses to “Attachment Parenting”

  1. Caren June 3, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    So now this post of yours has been going around and around in my head. Yes I shout our aloud!! Yes we must let others do what they need and want to do like this very different attachment theory but the thing that has been bothering me in relation to this particular issue is the very real psychology behind attachment and its very real issues around what is termed healthy and unhealthy attachment So while I celebrate that we as Christians need to be very careful not to judge others on issues that do not matter there are very interesting issues around this debate . So, should we be silent on the debate itself just because it is different. I am not certain. I read in the news paper today and interesting article on parenting by Judith Ancer in The Sunday Times and she mentioned healthy attachment parenting in the SA context. So I am left thinking that yes we must be kind and take care not to judge what others choose to do but perhaps we should think through these things and ask for wisdom so that we can make good choices for ourselves and our families.

  2. Caren June 2, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    It is such an on going struggle not to judge others according to our own view of things. I think it is so helpful to remember we are free and others are too.( with the things that do not matter). It is helpful to think in terms of love for God and not what makes me feel comfortable or superior or simply just “right”. There is a lot of ” being right” in the modern western church today. Please God to start with me and help me to see others as you truly . Thanks again!!

  3. Karen Dawes May 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    I loved your post! And how nice to know you write a blog – somewhat under the radar! I think God is really leading his people into a place of loving gracefully and not judging – it’s been my own Long Walk To Freedom, so to speak too, to realize that what is outside my Western Christianity borders isn’t there for me to change. Glad to see we are kindred thinkers on different tangents!

    • Ingrid May 25, 2012 at 8:56 am #

      Thank you Karen for stopping by 🙂 Love for God is always the answer. It chases away judging of others and many other sins of the heart…

  4. themastersbard May 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Well said Ingrid. I applaud your courage and commitment to non-judgment. (Judge not, said the Big J Man). If christians exercised more wisdom, intelligent reserve and grace, they’d have a better standing in the world’s eye.

    • Ingrid May 22, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

      Thank you Zita! It is a challenge to not judge!! 🙂 smiles…

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